Bad Economic News

For people looking for…you know…actual bad economic news. Oil prices are at their lowest level in a year and a half:

U.S. crude fell $1.63 to $54.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after tumbling more than $2 earlier in the session. Brent crude traded down $1.28 at $54.32.

Both international benchmarks were at their lowest since June 2005.

“$55 was very strong support that has been broken and below that is not much,” said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix. “If we close below $55, the next big support level isn’t until $50.”

Weather forecaster DTN Meteorologist predicted above normal temperatures for the rest of the week in the U.S. Northeast, extending an extraordinary streak of mild winter weather in the world’s largest heating oil market.

U.S. heating oil demand will run about a third below normal this week, the National Weather Service said Monday.

The steep price drop has rung alarm bells in OPEC producers and the group’s president, the United Arab Emirates, is discussing further action with member states. But traders remained doubtful that OPEC could turn the tide.

I blame George Bush.

No, really. I mean, it’s caused by global warming, right? And isn’t that his fault?

Seriously, this does point out that GW, even if it’s occurring, is not an all-bad thing. We generally use fossil fuels for heat, whereas air conditioning is generated by electricity, which can be produced with nuclear and other means. It’s a complicated world we live in.